JetBlue Picks Pratt Over CFM for Engines

JetBlue Airways Corp. (JBLU) agreed to buy 86 engines valued at about $1.03 billion from United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit for 40 Airbus SAS A320neo jets the carrier ordered earlier this year.

The airline becomes the first U.S. airline customer for the PurePower geared turbofan engine on the A320neo, the companies said in an e-mailed statement yesterday. JetBlue, based in New York, declined to comment about cost. The engines have an estimated list price of about $12 million each, though carriers usually get discounts on large orders.

Pratt & Whitney beat out CFM International, a joint venture of General Electric Co. (GE) and Safran SA. (SAF) JetBlue has been evaluating engine suppliers since announcing a $2.5 billion order for the Airbus planes in June. The new model provides longer range and as much as 15 percent in fuel savings compared with the airline’s current A320s.

“We are confident we’ve made an excellent choice for our aircraft,” JetBlue Chief Executive Officer Dave Barger said in the statement.

JetBlue’s current A320 jets have engines made by International Aero Engines, a joint venture in which Pratt & Whitney in October agreed to acquire a controlling interest. JetBlue’s Embraer SA E190s have GE engines.

The new Pratt & Whitney agreement includes long-term maintenance. Before the JetBlue accord, the unit of Hartford, Connecticut-based United Technologies (UTX) already had firm engine orders for 370 A320neos.

JetBlue is scheduled to receive the first of its twin- engine A320neos in 2018.

The A320neo has become the best-selling aircraft in aviation history, with Toulouse, France-based Airbus securing about 1,200 firm orders during the past year.

To contact the reporters on this story: Mary Schlangenstein in Dallas at maryc.s@bloomberg.net; Rachel Layne in Boston at rlayne@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Ed Dufner at edufner@bloomberg.net

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